Our Budget

February 5, 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Did you write a budget for your farm, your business, or your family? If you did, you are well ahead of the federal government. We haven’t had a budget in 5 years. Hopefully, that will change this year with Republicans in charge of both House and Senate.

President Obama this week presented his vision of what the spending and taxing policies should be next year. That is just the beginning. Presidents’ budgets are more than anything a political document. It is a wish list. The President is telling the Congress what he would like to see in the budget. However, the fact is that the Congress writes the budget. The House will prepare a budget and the Senate will also. The two will not be the same, and they will have to be reconciled. The Congressional deadline to complete the process is April 15.

We have in place now legislation which dictates a spending cap known as the sequester. President Obama wants to lift that cap with a budget of 4 trillion dollars. That is a 7% increase over 2014. We have a total debt now of 18 trillion dollars. We cannot afford that kind of spending.

Some Republicans are pressing to spend more on defense with the turmoil in the Middle East. Democrats want more money to pay for childhood education, tax credits for parents paying for child care, on and on.

The fact is the President’s budget should be no surprise. It is a tax and spend plan. Agriculture and small businesses will feel the pinch of taxes. He wants to raise the capital gains tax rate. He won’t leave the inheritance tax alone. Raising the “death tax” is a priority. He would tax banks more.

The President wants to impose a 14% tax on the 2 trillion dollars of overseas earnings. That’s one example where I agree with the President. What we really need is a complete overhaul of our entire tax code. The President’s budget is not entirely “dead on arrival.” It will help to open discussion and debate on important issues.

A lot of people don’t like the sequestration limits on spending. But, I like that discipline. Too many politicians just want to spend money to buy votes.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com. Have a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.